Monday, September 29, 2008

Brit publisher pays price for defying the nuts

Following the news that three men (sigh ... Muslim extremists ... again) have been arrested at the home of the boss of Gibson Square Books, trying to firebomb his house, this just in from the people at The First Post:

Palin biog caught in Muslim storm

Bad omens for the UK edition of Sarah Palin's biography. Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down, written by Alaskan journalist Kaylene Johnson, was due to be published next week by Gibson Square Books, the company behind Sherry Jones's controversial novel, The Jewel of Medinathe cause of a firebomb attack on Gibson Square's north London office on Friday.

Gibson's owner, Martin Rynja, has now gone into hiding, which makes the scheduled publication of the book on October 7 highly problematic. It would have been a rushed affair even in less turbulent circumstances: the deal was completed on Tuesday last week, leaving just two weeks to bring the paperback out. The fact that it is a slim work - Johnson needed only 160 pages to chart Palin's journey from high school basketball player to state governor – may help the publishing process along.

At the time, Rynja said the firm's quick processing had clinched the deal. He said he had paid a "compelling amount" for the book, which had its original American title, Sarah: How a Small Town Girl Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on its Ear, changed when Palin became John McCain's Republican running-mate earlier this month. Gibson – and perhaps the Republicans – have another reason to be concerned about The Jewel of Medina furore. The publishers also have a book out by McCain himself, Hard Call, a selection of essays on great political leaders.